MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Air Force (PAF) confirmed yesterday the death of one of its pilots after an MD-MG520 helicopter of the 15th Strike Wing crashed in Jetafe, Bohol.
Three other crewmembers of the aircraft were injured and brought to a hospital for treatment.
According to initial reports, the co-pilot and two crewmembers managed to jump into the sea before the helicopter crashed. They were rescued by local fishermen.
PAF spokesman Lt. Col. Maynard Mariano said the aircraft took off from Mactan Island and was on an engineering maintenance flight when the accident occurred at around 9:40 a.m.
Members of the PAF search and rescue group, 47th Infantry Battalion and Bohol Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office rushed to the crash site to rescue the victims.
Mariano did not identify the casualties pending notification of their family members.
He said the men and women of PAF led by Lt. Gen. Allen Paredes “deeply grieve the loss of an aircrew who offered his life in the line of duty.”
“The PAF will provide all necessary assistance and financial aid for the bereaved family,” Mariano said.
He said the MG520 fleet was grounded pending an investigation into the accident.
The PAF assured the public that its air assets are undergoing “strict, regular and redundant” maintenance inspection before and after flight missions.
Early this year, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana announced the grounding of all Huey helicopters of the PAF after a crash in Bulonay, Bukidnon left seven Air Force and Army personnel dead.
The Huey helicopter was transporting supplies for the Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion in Impasugong town when the accident occurred.